The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Soroca, Moldova.

Where are they going next? Back to Chisinau, Moldova on Tuesday. Then the Wednesday overnight train back to Bucharest.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Possible motorhome swap!

We weren't going to buy a new inverter this year, but one has come on sale that will do us nicely for the winter so I think we're going to buy it.

For those of you who don't know, an inverter is what changes the 12 volt DC battery power into 115v AC household electricity.

Originally, we had a 400 watt inverter, but it wasn't meant for permanent installation and didn't allow us to use our larger appliances, like a toaster. So back in 2010 I had bought a 1,500 watt unit. It was actually too big for our needs and it used a lot of power simply being turned on.

Both of those inverters went bad, with the big one giving up just last winter when we were in Mazatlan. We were kind of stuck at the time and ended up buying another little 400 watt unit for the equivalent of $62. Not really what we wanted, but electronics are more expensive in Mexico,and like I said...we were kind of stuck.

We were going to just make do with that one for the winter, but Canadian Tire has a decent 1,000 watt one on sale for $99, and it comes with a remote switch. We keep our inverter hard wired under the kitchen sink and it's a pain reaching under there to turn it on and off and to even check an see that we did turn it off. So this will be much better and we'll keep the other 400 watt one for emergencies since we know that they don't last forever!

On other news, we've been in touch with a friend of a friend who owns a motorhome in Spain. They would like to come to Canada next summer and borrow our motorhome to go to Alaska. My first thought was that I didn't want Sherman going to Alaska without us! And, it would probably put about 6,000 miles on the clock over the three month period.

But the flipside of this motorhome swap is that we would get to go to Spain in the winter of 2016-2017 and use their motorhome to tour some of Europe. Spain, Portugal, France. maybe even Morocco!

Of course there are some logistics to work out, but I think it sounds like a great way for both parties to take advantage of each other's assets. After all, Sherman just sits doing nothing during the summer. If we can use him to get us a free motorhome for us to use in Europe...well that sounds like a good deal to me!

Of course you also have to be comfortable enough with someone else using and driving your rig. But it's not like you're renting it out to Joe Blow off the street. These are experienced RV'ers who are also going to trust you with their rig. And, they come at the recommendation of friends who are also fellow RV'ers.

I think it's a win-win.

What do you think? Good deal?

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22 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great idea. With both families being experienced RV's., don't see why wouldn't work out well for both of you

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    1. Right now it is still in the planning stages and may not even happen, a lot can happen in a year's time but I think we would be good with this idea. :-)

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  2. Before you buy the $99 inverter, make sure its fan is thermostatically controlled---you do not want to hear a noisy cooling fan every second it is on.

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    1. Yes... the fan is activated only when the inverter draws a significant amount of power or internal temperature exceeds ambient operating temperature.

      Also, it says that inverter draw when powered on but with no load is less than 1.5 amps. Still sounds high, but maybe they all are?

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    2. The idle current does vary among manufacturers. The good news is, the draw is usually lower than spec'd. Regardless, if you dutifully use the convenient remote switch whenever not in use, the actual draw isn't that relevant. To remind me to do this, I keep a little neon nightlight plugged in, that I can see from most anywhere in the rig.

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    3. Yep, the remote is definitely a bonus in that aspect so that should make things much easier and less chance of the inverter being left on.

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    4. We have a 1500 watt inverter under one of the dinette benches with the remote switch near the coach door. There is a light on the remote that tells you when it is on so it is easy to see, I originally thought I would mount the remote beside the bed so I could turn it off at night easier but I think it is better in the living quarters.

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    5. Hmm, I like the idea of the remote having a light on it so that you know if the inverter has been left on or not, that makes it even more helpful. I think ours will be left in the living area as well as we don't have any need for it in the bedroom.

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  3. When it comes right down to it, Sherman is just a thing to be enjoy as much as possible. so, why not? I know the first time I saw our motorhome pull away and I wasn't at the wheel, I got a little anxious (rented it to a few trusted individuals) but I had to just tell myself that it was just another vehicle and would either come back, or not.
    Of course, one of my old school chums, who has been a "Civil Litigator" for a number of years, was horrified at the thought of someone else using our motorhome! You know, lawsuits, the sky falling, general mayhem etc., but I carried on.
    Anyone taking it had to sign some papers and such. I ain't that much of a fool.

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    1. You are right Bob! Sherman is meant to be enjoyed as much as possible and doing a swap like this is good for both parties. They would obviously treat Sherman right because they will want us to show the same courtesy to their unit. And yes, of course there would be papers to sign and things to be sorted out all before they drive away. I think the hardest part would be knowing that Sherman will be going to Alaska without us!

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  4. Boy is that a big move. I know you two will think about every scenario possible before you make the big decision. Good luck.

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    1. It helps to make us feel more at ease about doing a swap because these people are friends of our friends, who are also RVer's and have also done a motorhome swap twice before themselves. Also the people that would be doing the motorhome swap with us have as much to lose as we do so that helps with the confidence level because they will treat your motorhome like they would want you to treat theirs.

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  5. Sounds like a good idea but who pays if something goes wrong with either vehicle?

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    1. That is something that would have to be worked out beforehand.

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  6. I think experienced RVers should know better than to drive a 20-year-old vehicle 6000 miles ;)

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    1. Lol...Sherman is a well oiled machine. :-)

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  7. Sounds like a great idea for both people. That said, I'm not sure I could do it. Is their RV 20 years old too?

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    1. We think it is a good idea too, once you get your head around it. No, I doubt that their motorhome is 20 years old.

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  8. After our last trip, Canadian tire is one of my favorite stores:)

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    1. As long as you aren't getting any mechanical work done, then yes, it is a great store.

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  9. You always want to install the inverter as close to the DC power as possible. The voltage drop on the AC is less, thus you can run those wires further. For the remote install, I prefer in the bedroom, if you watch TV before retiring. Less chill to the body if you have to get up to turn it off after its use.

    Never liked doing exchanges with friends. More than often during these exchanges is when problems arise. For instance you borrow a friends power washer. During use the pump motor seizes. Who pays for the repair?

    Thoughts to consider.

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    1. Yes, that is why we have our inverter under the sink, it is close to the batteries that way. We don't have a TV so the only good the remote would do us in the bedroom is if we realized that we didn't turn the inverter off before climbing into a nice comfy cozy bed. ;-)

      There is that too consider but again it is something that would have to be worked out beforehand.

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